Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend FUN

Hello! It's a Saturday morning and Kent and I have been lazy. He is sort of just now recovering from the junior high retreat he spoke at last weekend and a crazy week of school. We had a sweet date night last night at one of our favorite little greek restaurants- Petra Cafe. We stuffed ourselves with pita and hummus (favorite!) and of course, gyros, then topped the night off with frozen yogurt at a new place called Sweet Cece's. OOOOH yum. That is just one of my most favorite things (yogurt bars)!!! I am NEVER too full for frozen yogurt. Ok that is NOT true, we came home so stuffed we could barely move. (WORTH IT!) We are trying to keep the date night habit up, even though most nights consist of just me and him, eating a quiet dinner together and talking about life. We know in the future (when we make friends and get more involved in things :) and have kids, etc) we won't get so much one on one time. 

But anyway, I'm embarrassed (and sort of impressed) to tell you we got 10 hours of sleep last night, ready for bed at 9:45pm. No joke. Our life has changed a LOT since living in Fayetteville 5 months ago. 

We are just about to go on a long run (11 miles) to get ready for the St. Jude half that I'm making Kent run with me in December. I used to do a ton of half marathons, but I honestly think it has been FOUR YEARS since I've done one! So we will see how it goes. Sadly, I'm pretty sure my race times will only decrease from this point on in my life. Gone are the glory days! But it still feels SO GOOD to run far!

Now, you get a meal to make tonight that you will come to love! I don't remember where I ever saw this recipe, I am pretty sure I have adapted it and made it my own, but here ya go.

Chicken Fried Rice (serves 4)

 Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken tenderloins, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 4 servings of cooked Brown rice (i think that's  2 cups of uncooked rice)
  • 1/2 c to 1 c of frozen peas and carrots (depends how much veggies you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
                                                                Preparation:
Once you have cooked the brown rice and chicken, pour 2 Tbs of oil on a large HOT skillet. Pour the rice onto the skillet and begin 'frying' at medium heat. Add frozen vegetables and stir for a couple minutes. Create a 'hole' in the center of the pan and crack the eggs in there to cook (or you can cook them on another pan if you want and set aside). I use 1 whole egg and 1 egg white.  Cut up the eggs in pieces. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with soy sauce (to taste).  


When everything is cooked and hot, transfer to a serving dish and enjoy! Kent always adds more soy sauce than what I use, but this is one of our favorite meals! We always buy chicken egg rolls (in the frozen food section) and put those in the toaster oven to eat with the rice. YUM!  
                 Now for dessert!  
This is one of my favorites, and a 'healthy' way to enjoy funfetti cake.

Lower Calorie Funfetti Cake                           
 Ingredients:  
All you need is a box of funfetti cake, a can of diet 7-up/sprite (or regular), and if you're feeling crazy, get the rainbow chip frosting. It's my FAV!            
Preparation:
You'll love this. Just mix the cake mix and can of 7-up/sprite.  Pour into an 8x8 pan or into a muffin tin for cupcakes. Bake according to cake box directions! You can use lemon cake or angel food cake as well, but why wouldn't you want FUNFETTI!? 
Once it cools, cover with frosting (or use cool whip for lower cals).  The little bread pan I used is for Kent's cake. The one on the right is ALL FOR ME! YUM! It's light and fluffy and gooey and delicious!                                

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yum.

Quick post about the glorious dinner I just made. For myself. Kent had an open house at school tonight, so he made a quick pizza (and ate it all himself) and was out the door. I've been wanting to try Quinoa, so i scrounged around to see which recipe had ingredients in it I already had on hand, and i came up with THIS!


It. was. delicious.
So what's the deal with Quinoa? Well, we eat rice ALL THE TIME. Quinoa is similar-ish, sort of like cous cous also, but denser and has tons of protein. It's a good switch up and worth buying! 
I stole the recipe from here


BROCCOLI-QUINOA CASSEROLE



One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom), low-sodium if you prefer
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
.
2 cups cooked broccoli (I just had 1/2" boiling water in a pot and let the broccoli boil for a couple minutes)
1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see note)
Feshly grated Parmesan cheese
.
To cook quinoa:
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
.
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  (I used a coffee filter because, who has a 'fine sieve'? It didn't work GREAT, so just rinse it the best you can.)
In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish.
In a large bowl combine the soup, yogurt, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.
*I added some already cooked chicken I had made last night and threw it in the casserole dish before I put it in the oven. You can do this or cook chicken and have it separately.
Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg

GO MAKE THIS ASAP!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hate to admit it.

So I had a TOTALLY lazy weekend with Kent being gone (speaking at a jr. high retreat in Mississippi Friday through Sunday) and I hate to admit that I'm having a totally lazy Monday as well! The kids have off school today, and the staff have a conference for all Christian schools in the area. However since I'm just part time, I don't have to go! HAPPY MONDAY TO ME! 


I cleaned up the house this weekend and ran a bunch of errands, so today (unless I go run more errands which leads to me spending money) I am not quite sure what to do with myself! I think my butt is actually sore from sitting on this couch. For some reason, when we gained an extra hour, my body will NOT let me sleep, so the joys of getting to sleep in weren't experienced today (or at all this weekend). But, I can't complain! It's a beautiful day and I may just go for a bike ride! THIS is my kind of fall weather. By the way, Kent and I get the best of fall by having ZERO trees in our yard, thus no leaves to rake, while still enjoying to colors and falling leaves all around us. :) SWEET!


Kent said the junior high retreat went really well, Praise God! He LOVES speaking and is really gifted at it, but it sure takes a lot out of him! We decided that my strengths are in preparation- putting all the material together, but I'd rather let someone else share the material. He'd love someone else to help him prepare it all. I'd say we are a good team.


Well, I will leave you with what we had for dinner last night- you should make it immediately because it was SO. GOOD.  We ate pancakes and topped them with Apple Crisp (and I added vanilla yogurt too).


                                        Apple Crisp
 Base:
3 large apples (I used what we had-one granny smith and 2 macintosh)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c sugar (I used 3/4 c splenda)
pinch of nutmeg and ginger

Chop apples into thin slices and toss with the above ingredients. Spread into an 8x8 greased pan.


Topping:
1 c oatmeal
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 T butter (more for gooey-ier apple crisp)


Mix dry ingredients together and cut in softened butter til it's a crumbly blend of goodness. Pour the topping over the apples and mix in a bit. 


Bake in the oven at 375 for the first 15 minutes, then turn it down to 350 for the last 15-20 minutes. Oh. My. Goodness. Can you tell we enjoyed it? 


I baked a lot while Kent was gone. Still experimenting with all my recipes on pinterest.


I made snickerdoodle blondies with garbanzo beans. Yep, that was interesting (not a 'bad' interesting, but not a 'let me share this with the world' interesting either).


I also made chicken and wild rice soup, which is SO good. I may post that recipe since it is  definitely 'web-worthy'.


Okay, I'm off to find something else to do (or at least move to another couch,  because this one is starting to mold to my butt). Have a great day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Need a personal trainer?

So, I'm home alone this weekend, first time here in this house without Kent, and have time to be still and process life a little (and blog!). I also have big plans to sleep in tomorrow. Getting up at 5 every morning is KILLING ME! October was a busy month; more for Kent than for me, but I did sub a lot and have started personal training some of the teachers at my school! So in a typical week, if I don't sub, I'm at work 7-10:30ish, home for a few hours, then back to train from 2:30-4:30. Just two women so far, I hope more will join us, but I really love it and am thankful even for time to socialize and be around people (awesome people, at that) rather than hang at home by myself. So, again, God is GOOD and I am so thankful to see him providing exactly what we need!

Kent and I finally settled on a church! YAY! We can get plugged into COMMUNITY! We were SO torn between two incredible churches here, and after a few months of going back and forth each Sunday, felt the Lord directing us to Central! The pastor there was Kent's bible teacher when HE was a student at Briarcrest, and he was one of the biggest influences on Kent in high school. SO COOL that we get to be around him again and learn from him. They have a young married's sunday school class we are pumped for also. But, since Kent isn't here this weekend I have to figure out if i'll go it alone.

Had a WONDERFUL visit with college friends last weekend! SO THANKFUL they were able to make the drive here to visit! We loved having people in our home! (And Tate got to use the kids room filled with teddy bears and butterflies!).

I guess the next visitors coming are my parents! Can't wait for them to spend Thanksgiving with us and the incredible Austell family. I. Love. Holidays.


Lastly, I must brag on my cute nephews and show you their halloween costumes.

Well, my granola is done. Had to make some for breakfast tomorrow morning. A Saturday tradition! Enjoy the weekend!


Apple Honey Granola

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
1 cup dried apples, chopped
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup chopped unsalted almonds
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until wet ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake approximately 50 minutes, stir/turn after 25 minutes. Let cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container.

Adapted from here, where you'll find LOTS of other incredible recipes to try!
There was an error in this gadget